Black Caps take unbeatable series lead after fourth ODI washed out
The Black Caps take an unbeatable 2-1 series lead to Mt Maunganui for the final match of their ODI series with Sri Lanka after game four was wrecked by rain in Nelson on Saturday.
Only nine overs were possible on a damp Saxton Oval before rain returned to end a frustrating exercise for both teams and a handful of hardy spectators.
The Blacks were 75-3 when the weather closed in 43 minutes after play finally got underway.
Sri Lanka won the toss and predictably opted to bowl first in damp, overcast conditions in a contest shortened to a maximum of 24 over per side.
The Black Caps lost the wickets of Tom Latham, Martin Guptill and stand-in captain Kane Williamson in the quest for quick runs.
Latham, who again replaced the injured Brendon McCullum at the top of the order, was caught behind on nine when attempting to glide newcomer Thisara Perera to third man after the Black Caps had piled on 37 in the opening three overs.
Guptill slapped 27 from 14 balls - including three sixes from a Dushmantha Chameera over - before he was plumb leg before wicket to a Nuwan Kulaskera toe-crusher that had the elegant right hander limping off.
Williamson fell to a tame dismissal for the second match in succession when a leading edge gave Chammera an easy return catch when New Zealand's premier batsman was on 12.
Ross Taylor (20) and Henry Nicholls (4) were the not out batsmen.
With Tim Southee ruled out due to a foot injury, Matt Henry was recalled lineup while leg spinner Ish Sodhi has been given the nod ahead of Doug Bracewell.
The Black Caps held the upper hand after crushing wins in Christchurch though Sri Lanka bounced back with an eight-wicket victory in the first leg of the Nelson double header on New Year's Eve.
Mt Maunganui's Bay Oval hosts the finale on Tuesday - weather permitting.
M Guptill lbw Kulasekera 27
T Latham c Chandimal b Perera 9
K Williamson c and b Chameera 12
R Taylor not out 20
H Nicholls not out 4
Extras (2w 1nb) 3
Total (for 3 wkts, 9 overs) 75
Fall: 37 (Latham), 45 (Guptill), 53 (Williamson)
Bowling D Chameera 3-0-32-1 (1nb), T Perera 2-0-13-1, N Kulasekera 1-0-4-1, M Siriwardana 2-0-11-0 (2w), J Vandersay 1-0-15-0